When a spouse files for divorce, they typically are sure they want to end their marriage. In many cases, the spouse is anxious to get through the divorce process and move forward with their life. However, there are cases where a spouse might want to stop a divorce once the paperwork has been filed with the court.

Why Would a Spouse Want To Stop a Divorce in California if the Paperwork Has Already Been Filed?

Either spouse might try to stop a divorce from proceeding. The reasons for stopping a divorce action are as varied as the reasons for getting married. Reasons that someone might try to stop a divorce include:

  • The person is afraid they will lose one-half of their property under California’s community property laws
  • The spouse wants to stay together for the children
  • The parties decide the financial consequences of a divorce are too high
  • A spouse changes their mind about going through with the divorce
  • The spouses agree to work on their marriage and/or seek couples therapy
  • Spouses decide to stay together for religious, health insurance, or social reasons

A spouse might have a legitimate reason to try to stop a divorce from proceeding. However, merely wanting to remain married when the other spouse wants a divorce does not work under California’s no-fault divorce laws.

Can I Stop My Divorce After I File the Paperwork With the Court?

Yes, it might be possible to stop the divorce process even though you filed your paperwork. It takes at least six months to obtain an uncontested divorce in California. The six-month waiting period allows the spouses time to change their minds and stop the divorce proceeding.

To obtain a divorce, you must file all required divorce forms with the court. If you do not complete the paperwork, the court dismisses the case. Therefore, if you change your mind, you can wait for the court to dismiss the case when you do not file the remaining paperwork.

However, if you do not want to wait on the court or have filed all the required paperwork for the divorce, you must petition the court to dismiss your case. You must act quickly to file the paperwork to dismiss your divorce if you have filed all required paperwork and it is correct and complete. 

If the court enters the divorce judgment, it is too late. The divorce is final, and you are no longer married. If you and your ex-spouse wanted to remarry each other, you could do that, but you cannot undo a final divorce decree.

Can My Spouse Stop the Divorce After the Paperwork Is Filed in California?

Some states still use “fault” grounds for divorces, such as adultery, abuse, and abandonment. You need to prove the legal elements for the grounds you claim to obtain the divorce. However, all states now have some form of no-fault divorce ground, including continuous separation for a year. 

Because California is a no-fault state for divorces, it only takes one spouse to claim the couple has irreconcilable differences. 

Even if your spouse wants to remain married, the court can grant the divorce over their objection. For example, your spouse might refuse to sign the divorce papers thinking that might stop the divorce. However, the court can grant a divorce even though your spouse does not file a response or appear in court. 

Your spouse can draw out your divorce by arguing about the divorce terms. A spouse might file an answer contesting child support, property division, alimony, and other terms. If so, the divorce becomes a contested divorce which requires a trial if the parties cannot settle their disputes through negotiations. 

Never Ignore Divorce Papers That Your Spouse Has Served on You

When a spouse does not want to be divorced, they might ignore divorce papers served on them. Instead of reading the papers and dealing with the divorce, they act as if nothing has changed. 

However, ignoring divorce proceedings can be costly. If you do not file a response and participate in hearings, you have no voice when the judge decides the terms of the divorce. It is crucial that parents respond to divorce proceedings because child custody and parenting time are decided as part of the divorce. 

If you are unsure what to do about a divorce action, a San Diego divorce lawyer can help. An attorney explains your rights. They also help you fight for fair property division, reasonable custody terms, and spousal support, if support is justified. 

Contact Our Divorce Law Firm in San Diego, CA

Contact our experienced San Diego divorce lawyers at San Diego Divorce Lawyers, APC today for legal assistance. Contact our San Diego office at (619) 866-3756 to schedule a free consultation.

San Diego Divorce Lawyers, APC
2851 Camino del Rio S #430
San Diego, CA 92108